What do you see?

T

his has been a very quiet time for me. I’m not doing much more than I need to do. That’s not me. Nor, is it good for me.

I’ve always been a believer of finishing your daily work and then do one more thing. Big or little, it doesn’t matter. You are making progress.

Where I come from we say, progress not perfection.

That’s good because I’m never perfect. I make mistakes. I’m the typo king. Some of my best pictures are either motion shaky art out of focus.

That’s not a terrible thing. I learn from all of those things. I edit my words tighter. I compensate for cameras shake either with a tripod or I make sure my shutter speed is high.

But, right now none of that is happening. I reckon that the pandemic and the last 18 months have worn me out. It’s worn a lot of people out. Add to that the pressure of really not working much and I’m probably blown out.

My way of dealing with this is not working. Or, working very well. I probably need a long, long vacation. But, I’d worry about what was going on where I wasn’t.

I suspect a lot of us are in this place.

What about you?

A

ll reflections, that’s what this picture is really about. I’d finished a very short walk when I looked up and saw the window.

I had to move around a bit in order to make this picture as well framed as it is, which is to say, not very well.

If I could have moved back about 15 feet, I could have aligned the final image a lot better.

There goes that perfection thing again.

Nonsense. I did the best I could with what I had.

Once again, I didn’t do much but darken and sharpen the picture. After all, simpler is usually better.

This time it was.


Nature’s art.

J

uly is the month that you really know where you are; Southeast Louisiana. This is when your windows always have condensation producing water droplets in the morning.

That’s what you see as I look into the garden. Later in the day this dries out and you can see reality again. Not that reality is such a big deal. These days, like so many of you, I think that reality bites.

I just don’t want to deal with anything hard these days. I avoid them as much as possible. Sleep, once came with difficult, now seems easy to come by. That’s not me. I’m usually a six hour a day sleeper. Now, I am a ten hour a day sleeper.

I’m not feeling fatigued. I start reading anything and pretty soon I start to drive and think, “This feels good” and I’m gone.

I did it yesterday. I started working around 8am. I took a break at 11:30am. I thought I’d read the news. I awoke at 3:30pm. Huh? Where am I?

And you?

T

his is the anti-technology column today.

My new iPhone has a 90 day no questions asked return policy.

I might use that.

I’m not sure if it’s me, or the sensor or the lens, but it makes photo files that are almost unusable.

My first attempt at in phone processing of this image was terrible. Even after turning down the contrast to the bare minimum all the darks where clumped into an unreadable mass.

So, I download a completely unprocessed file and worked on it in OnOne, barely doing anything.

That worked.


Bones in the window.

In New Orleans, you see them everywhere.

You see them in windows. On balconies. On the street. Well, maybe not on the street. But, if you look hard enough you might. In a city that loves Halloween, anything is possible. You can look around the city in every ward, on every street and you’ll see Halloween spookiness. .

But, for the real adventure head to the French Quarter. That’s where the real stuff comes to life. Or, comes to death. It’s everywhere. While there is a big parade called Krewe of Boo, you’ll find some of the weirdest people wandering around in the best costumes throughout the Quarter on the big night. If you haven’t been to the city on Halloween, you owe it to yourself to come on down.

Before I sound too much like the tourism board, check out the picture carefully. The skeleton is wearing eyeglasses and has hair. You don’t see that very often.

No matter what, it’s all in good fun. So, have some.

 

 


Something in a dream.

A dream? Or, a nightmare?

Is it real? Or, something created out of nothing?

I had a sort of half awake dream a couple of nights ago. I had a little trouble falling asleep. When I finally did, I had a kind of dream almost immediately.  Or, I thought that I did.

There was someone standing next to the bed. He was dressed in old fashioned house painters clothes. White pants. White t-shirt. He may not have been a painter. That was just my impression of him.

He was just there, next to the nightstand. All I could see was his body. His head was behind the lamp. His feet were out of my line of sight. It was so real that I reached out to touch him. I couldn’t. Either my hand went through him or he backed up, out of my way. I decided to look down at his legs. There was just a sort of mist. When I looked up again, he was gone.

I have no idea if I was dreaming in deep REM state, or if I was half awake and seeing things. Eventually, I fell back asleep. Or, dreamed that I did. That was it for the dreams.

I have no idea what it means. There are different definitions of what dreams mean. I believe in the one that says a dream is an answer to a question that hasn’t been formed yet.

If the guy was really a house painter, what is the question?

Or.

Was he something else? Just because he was dressed in white pants and a t-shirt doesn’t mean that he was a painter. Maybe he was a milkman. Or, a donut delivery guy. You had to grow up in Southern California to understand that. Once there was a company called Helms Bakery. They sent their trucks far and wide to bring donuts to your door.

Anyway.

The picture. It’s layered. It started with a building structure. I added all sorts of layers to it. It feels a little bit like Halloween because the lamp in the window turned into a spooky red ghost.


Art in the French Quarter.

Reflection in the glass.

A moody image. Lost in the mists of The French Quarter. One early morning.

I saw the mannequin. Eyes peering out at me. If I didn’t know where I was. On Royal Street. I might have thought the face was real.

I stepped back. Wanting to add a little mystery to the picture. I snapped once. Twice. Three times.

I was finished. With this little scene.

I kept walking.

 


In the shadows.

It seems that digging into my past work is necessary, but not rewarding.

I can’t keep posting it. For sure, you’ve never seen it. It’s new to you. But, it’s not where I’m at now. In the summer of 2019.

This picture is brand new. As usual, I saw it on the way to some place else. I was in a hurry. I was lucky that the cross caught my eye. Photographer’s luck. When I actually pressed the button, I didn’t see it for what it was. I saw it for what it could be.

Finally.

Vision aligning with reality.

And, then going further.

I’m not making a statement about religion if this gothic cross means that to you. I don’t attack other people’s belief systems. As the late John Lennon wrote, “whatever gets you through the night.

I am making a statement about my sense of the world right now. We are broken. Everybody seems angry about even the littlest things. The doors and windows are closed. We are taking extreme positions about almost everything.

There’s no point in this.

I’d like to see the window frame painted nicely. I’d like to see the cross glowing. It like to see another version of this picture where everything is sparkling.

We can do that, you know.


Me, the sky and a reflection.

Going, down, down, down.

Working in a coal mine. I don’t work in a coal mine. It’s just that on some days it feels that way. I shouldn’t complain. Making pictures and arguing with technology isn’t dirty work.

Anyway,

Here I am doing my job. Sorta. I couldn’t figure a way to keep myself out of the picture and still make the picture I saw, so I just left myself in. It’s kind of like power lines on a city street. If you can’t find a clean angle than just leave them alone. Make them a part of the scene.

There’s been a lot of big news this week. I like the news about finding a tribe in Brazil that have never seen modern man. Apparently, the government is actually doing the right thing by leaving them alone to just live their ancient lives.

You thought I was going to talk about something else didn’t you? Ha! I have one thing to say about that. MAGA. My Attorney Got Arrested.


Breakfast at the Clover Grill.

Sunday morning. In the French Quarter.

The tourists haven’t awakened yet. The only folks out are locals. Either they are getting ready for church. Or, they are getting ready to work. Or, they are just coming come from a long overnight shift somewhere in the Quarter.

Before they go where ever they are going, they stop for breakfast. At the Clover Grill. They can eat heartily. They can eat 24 hours a day. And, they can eat in a place that has been around for a long, long time. It’s one of those places where everybody knows your name. And, you’ll never know what will happen. I’ll leave it at that. If you ever go there I want you to be surprised.

Oh. You want to know where it is? Lower Bourbon Street. At Dumaine. On the corner. You can’t miss it.

The picture. One from the archives. When I first returned to New Orleans I used to go walking in the French Quarter on Sunday morning. The light was wonderful. There weren’t many people on the street. It wasn’t too hot, but I did have to deal with the early morning goopiness. Eventually, I stopped doing that in favor of photographing second lines. Because of the decline of the number of second lines, I may resume walking the Quarter on Sunday morning. We’ll see.

 


Like an adobe.

” She’s a good girl, loves her mama, Loves Jesus and America too

She’s a good girl, crazy ’bout Elvis, Loves horses and her boyfriend too

It’s a long day livin’ in Reseda, There’s a freeway runnin’ through the yard

And I’m a bad boy, ’cause I don’t even miss her, I’m a bad boy for breakin’ her heart

And I’m free, free fallin’, Yeah I’m free, free fallin’, All the vampires walkin’ through the valley

Move west down Ventura Blvd. ,And all the bad boys are standing in the shadows

All the good girls are home with broken hearts,  And I’m free, free fallin’, Yeah I’m free, free fallin’

Free fallin’, now I’m free fallin’, Now I’m, Free fallin’, now I’m free fallin’

I wanna glide down over Mulholland,  I wanna write her name in the sky

I’m gonna free fall out into nothin’,  Gonna leave this world for awhile

And I’m free, free fallin’, Yeah I’m free, free fallin’,  Yeah I’m free, free fallin’

Oh! Free fallin’,  Now I’m free,  Oh! , Free fallin’ “

— Free Falling, Tom Petty

I had no idea. Rest in Peace, Tom.